Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Carrie Hintz

Subject Categories

Community Psychology | Family, Life Course, and Society | Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Organization Development | Other Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Work, Economy and Organizations


work, family, conflict, balance, children, low income


The United States is the only country not offering paid parental leave. Paid leave is left at the discretion of employers and only a few states offer Paid Family Leave benefits. The FMLA was established to protect workers from losing their jobs in case they needed to care for an elderly person or for their children. However, since value is not placed in family structures there has not been much development in that area. The FMLA fails to account for the grand majority of people in the U.S., especially those of lower socioeconomic status. Moreover, the vast inequalities that exists based on income alone do not allow a grand portion of low-income workers access to the work policies in place. As a result, poor families face challenges that make it more difficult to meet the demands of work and family life. Research on how to address policy change to account for every worker in the United States needs to be conducted so that low income communities can have a higher chance to attend the needs of their children, elders, and themselves. Extensive research on the lives of the poor in terms of family-work life balance is lacking. Therefore, the family policies that need restructuring have not been presented with viable solutions, which would allow many working-class families the capacity to lead healthy, and productive lives. There needs to be an inclusive and modern approach to workplace policies and laws for the betterment of society at large.